A cooktop is a kitchen essential. Whether you want to make tea or prepare risotto, a good one comes in handy. There is a broad range of them in the market with different models, prices, features, and functionalities. As such, choosing the best one for your kitchen can be daunting and overwhelming. This article presents seven factors to consider when selecting the best cooktop for your kitchen to make the process seamless.
1. Space Considerations
The first thing to consider when buying a cooktop is the space you have available. You wouldn’t like to buy a large one that can’t fit in the available space. Use a tape to measure the flat area you intend to install your cooktop. Remember to measure both the width and length.
Cooktops come in various sizes, from the standard 12″, 24″, and 30″ and larger ones like 36″ and 40″. When determining the size of your cooktop, ensure you also consider the type too. If you want to buy a small one but you cook a lot, it is best to choose an induction cooktop because it cooks faster than gas and electric stoves.
2. Your Cooking Habits
Consider your cooking habits because they will determine the number and type of burners you will buy. For example, if you cook a lot of meals simultaneously, consider purchasing a cooktop with at least five burners.
Here is an explanation of gas, electric, and induction cooktops so that you choose one that meets your cooking habits and needs.
- Gas cooktops: with these, you can cook any food. They are endowed with low-output heat burners and high heat burners, so you have an array of choices. Most people love gas cookers because they heat up quickly, and you can change the heating levels easily. A gas cooktop would be a great choice if you already have a gas connection at home. If you don’t have an existing gas connection, it can be expensive to install one.
- Electric cooktops: they are famous for their heating efficiency, versatility in power levels, and fit different sizes of cookware. They are affordable and a good choice for people on a budget.
- Induction cooktops: they are the first choice for many cooking enthusiasts because of their even heat distribution, fast cooking, and energy efficacy. Also, for people who like staying on top of the latest technologies, induction cooktops are the number one choice. Since they do not have tangible heat, they are safe even for younger members of your family. However, it is essential to note that you need cast iron, enamel cast iron, or stainless steel cookware to use one.
How much are you willing to spend? Your budget will limit or broaden your search. Induction cooktops are more costly than gas and electric ones. Also, expect to pay more for larger ones as well as electric cooktops with unique features like sleek digital controls. A basic gas one can cost $300 while a 36″ induction cooktop can cost $2,500.
Apart from the initial cost, account for extra expenses related to the cooktop, such as energy usage and part replacements. These additional costs can add up quickly in the long run. For instance, even though induction is energy efficient, you will incur the cost of buying new cookware.
A cooktop is an addition to your kitchen’s aesthetics. Therefore, choose one that matches the theme and color scheme of your kitchen. For example, you can select stainless if your kitchen fittings are stainless.
An electric or induction cooktop would go well with a contemporary-themed kitchen while a gas cooktop would fit well in a traditional kitchen. Most come in black, white, and stainless. You can match your cooktop with other appliances in your kitchen. If most of your kitchen appliances are white, then a white one will give you a cheerful kitchen.
5. Energy Efficiency and Safety
If you want an energy-efficient cooktop, then an induction one is ideal. They save approximately 10% more energy than electric. Also, they are the safest and most advanced option. Since induction cooktops do not heat the surface of the element, they have no risk of burns. Additionally, they do not release heat into the room and hence ideal for people living in small houses or hot areas.
6. Maintenance and Cleaning
While some cooktops are easy to clean, others are not. Induction cooktops have smooth surfaces that make them easy to clean. Gas ones may not be the easiest to clean because they have parts that must be removed before cleaning.
Although ceramic glass cooktops are resistant to extreme heat and scratchproof, they require greater care. It is best practice to refrain from using abrasive cleaning products for these surfaces. Instead, use a specific creamy cleanser and clean up any spills immediately.
7. Do Your Research
Do not buy the first cooktop you come across. Take your time to do a little research on different ones. Visit numerous home stores, discount stores, department stores, and kitchen appliance stores to compare models and prices. Also, search for good deals online. Visit different sites to see the cooktops in stock and compare prices.
Lastly, before you head to the store, read customer reviews online. Customer reviews provide honest feedback on the durability, usability, and energy efficiency of the cooktop you are considering. Based on the customer reviews, you can decide whether to continue with the purchase or not.
Whether you want to replace an old stove or upgrade your kitchen, finding the best cooktop to meet your needs is fundamental. Nevertheless, with so many brands, models, and prices, it can be hard to find the best one for your kitchen. Use these tips the next time you want to buy a cooktop, and you won’t regret it. Also, speak to a remodeling expert if you are unsure of what to get.